Meatball Sliders

Not to brag or anything but today’s post is genius. I am a genius! You see…2 weeks ago Kara had to work a long Saturday, leaving Cliff and I to try recipes on our own. Yikes! Not a great idea considering I tend not to read recipes thoroughly and/or at all. We decided on meatball sliders and they were the best (and only) I’ve ever had.

I’m proud of this recipe because we essentially made it up as we went along and the end results were nothing less than perfect. Honest. I wouldn’t change one thing! My Mom guided me through the meatball making process because that was where I was slightly unsure but I changed up the ingredients with the addition of green pepper and fresh basil. Cliff came up with the idea of the cheesy center and I think that was maybe my favorite part. So delicious.

The sauce came together quickly and complimented the sliders nicely and the basil was a great finishing touch. I think each and every aspect of the recipe was tasty: the meatball, sauce and pesto. Add in some fresh bread and cheese and it’s  over-the-top amazing. I admit there were quite a few steps but none of them were difficult. If I can do it, anybody can! However, if you want to shorten your prep time you can easily use jarred marinara and store-bought pesto. But that’s not much fun in my opinion. I suggest making them from scratch, serving them to a crowd and impressing every single person.

Here's what you'll need. I know it looks like a lot of ingredients, but it's worth it.

I'm going to start with my quickie sauce because that simmers for awhile

Add in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and saute the garlic and onion

Add a can of tomato sauce

And a couple spoonfuls of tomato paste. This will help thicken the sauce

Season with salt and pepper

Then in goes the dried parsley and basil.

While the sauce simmers, start your meatballs

Garlic goes in every step of this recipe :-)

And then the cheese

Season with salt and pepper too

In goes the chopped fresh basil from the garden.

Use your hands to combine all the ingredients. Don't overwork it! Form into a ball & press a mozzarella cube in the center

Re-form the meat mixture so that it completely covers the cheese

In a pan brown the meatballs in a little bit of oil. Don't move the meat too soon or it will fall apart

These are browning nicely

Ok now for the favorite part!

Throw everything in a food processor and slowly add the olive oil while its pulsing. Pesto is done!

Let the meatballs finish cooking in the sauce. A couple of these are a bit well done. Oh well!

Cut the rolls in half then butter the insides and outsides. Pop them in the oven for about 4 minutes just to lightly crisp them

Now it's time to assemble. Place a meatball and sauce on the roll and top with a slice of cheese

Put them back in the oven for a couple more minutes, we sprinkled cheese on top bun too

Last step: Add a bit of the pesto! The perfect touch!

These sliders were so tasty!

Look at the cheesy center!


  1. says

    These look seriously good. I love your tip to butter the inside and outside of the bun, then toast in the oven. Plus, cheese inside and outside the meatball! Definitely genius.

    • says

      Good question! Actually we usually use a big pot too. The reason we didn’t in these pics is 1. we made a small batch and 2. it was a quickie sauce.


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